Oldenburg sinks Unicaja for first win
EWE Baskets Oldenburg registered its first win of the season in style, beating previously undefeated Unicaja Malaga 91-78 on Wednesday night. Oldenburg improved to 1-3 in Group D, while Unicaja dropped to 3-1. The hosts used a strong finish to the second quarter to open a 10-point halftime lead and never allowed the visitors to get within single figures again in the second half. Braydon Hobbs paced the winners with 18 points, Justin Sears had 14 and Rasid Mahalbasic contributed 12 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Nathan Boothe and Kevin McLain added 10 points apiece in the victory. Josh Adams finished as Unicaja's top scorer with 14 points, Aleksa Avramovic scored 13 and Adam Waczynski and Volodymyr Gerun each scored 11 in the losing effort.
Avramovic scored 7 points early as Unicaja opened a 7-11 lead. Mahalbasic had a three-point play, but the hosts struggled offensively as Jaime Fernandez helped Unicaja extend it to 14-20. Boothe sparked Oldenburg's offense at the start of the second quarter and after Adams hit a three for Unicaja, the hosts answered with a 9-0 run behind Hobbs and Sears to take 34-30 lead. Deon Thompson knocked one down from long range for Unicaja, but Mahalbasic strung together 7 points in a 9-1 run and Gerry Blakes hit a three-pointer that made it 46-36 at halftime. In the opening two minutes of the third quarter, Ricky Paulding drove for a layup and Hobbs hit a three-pointer, while Oldenburg forced two shot-clock violations on the defensive end. Hobbs had a three-point play and McClain had a dunk that opened a 63-45 margin. Waczynski and Avramovic kept Unicaja's hopes alive late in the third quarter, but a three-point play from Robin Amaize and triple from Hobbs broke the 20-point barrier in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, 74-53. Boothe's three helped push the margin to 85-61 midway through the fourth, as the hosts cruised to victory.
Oldenburg struggled offensively in the first quarter and trailed 25-30 with 6 minutes to go in the first half, but then put together an 18-4 run as Rasid Mahalbasic took over. The hosts scored 30 points in the second quarter and led by 10 at halftime.
Defense steps up
For the second home game in a row, Oldenburg allowed 78 points. The team has allowed an average of 91.5 points in two road games so far.
Answer is not on the glass
Unicaja had 17 offensive boards in the game and 14 of those came in the second half. The visitors outrebounded Oldenburg 39-26. But it did not help much as Unicaja had just 4 assists in the last two quarters and shot just 7 for 24 from three-point range for the night.
In Round 5 next Wednesday, Oldenburg goes on the road to face winless Buducnost VOLI Podgorica (0-4), while Unicaja returns home to welcome Dolomiti Energia Trento (2-2).
Wednesday, October 23, 2019